I got this tip from the blogstress at funcheaporfree.com. Here is her story:
The heating unit went out on my dryer. The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material and the hot water just sat on top of the mesh; didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free, and smell good. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box? Apparently that stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!
Thanks Jordan for your great tip!